BC Adventures – Our To Do Picks for June 19 – 25

This week in BC: visit a farm in Langley, see a queen in Richmond, celebrate dad in New Westminster and get jazzed in North Vancouver

Fit for a Queen raises funds for those living with HIV/AIDS

Attend Fit for a Queen at the River Rock Theatre
 – June 19
Queens of all incarnations will be converging at the River Rock Show Theatre (8811 River Road, Richmond) on June 19. And though plenty of heads may be topped with tiaras, it’s not some trendy retreat for royalty. Instead, it’s a fundraiser called Fit for a Queen, a Vegas-style drag show that helps support locals living with HIV/AIDS. Twenty of Vancouver’s top female impersonators — everyone from Trampolina to Kamelle Toe to Hope Diamond — are donating their comedic talents for a night of camp, kitsch and queenly attitude. Doors open at 7 p.m., with the big-boned beauties swishing onto the stage at 8 p.m. Tickets are available for $32, plus service charges, online at ticketmaster.ca or at 604-280-4444. For further information, visit shootingstarsfoundation.org.

Attend the Comox Valley Shellfish Festival – June 20
When it comes to the fourth annual Comox Valley Shellfish Festival, there’s good news and bad news. The bad news is that the fest’s gala dinner is all sold out. The good news is that you won’t have to shell out big bucks to attend the festival’s other main event – the Pacific Kiss Oyster Shucking Competition, taking place on June 20 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Comox Marina Park. Much more than just a shucking shindig, this free fest features live music by Vancouver Island entertainer Des Larson – best enjoyed, by the way, from the vantage point of a beer garden – plus tasting booths selling oyster burgers, steamed clams and strawberry crepes. For further details, visit comoxvalleyshellfishfestival.ca. PS – For discount deals on accommodation, call the Kingfisher Oceanside Resort and Spa at 1-800-663-7929 and request the special “festival rate.”

Enjoy a Car-free Day in Vancouver – June 20

Planning to hop in your car for a cruise down Main Street, Denman or Commercial Drive this Sunday? One word of advice: Don’t. That’s because these busy corridors are all banning vehicles on June 20 for the second annual Car-Free Vancouver Festival, a blowout block-party to drive home the point that “streets are for people, not cars.” Catch it from noon on Main Street between 16th and 33rd; Commercial between 1st Avenue and Venables; Denman between Robson and Davie; and in various locations throughout Kitsilano. For more details, go to carfreevancouver.org.

Celebrate Dad’s Day
 at Queen’s Park Bandshell – June 20
Stumped for ideas on creating some Father’s Day fun? If dad’s a live music fan, he may enjoy catching a free Father’s Day concert at the Queen’s Park Bandshell in New Westminster on June 20. Starting at 2 p.m., the New Westminster and District Concert Band Society — which has been making music in the community for some 75 years — will be rolling out a full repertoire of performers in four separate bands, including the jazz, beginner, intermediate and seniors’ ensembles. And, assuming it’s sunny (fingers crossed!), you’re welcome to bring your barbecue to grill up a post-concert meal. For further details, visit nwdband.com.

Take Your Kids to the Four Seasons Hotel
 – June 21 -Sept 5
If nothing’s too good for your little ones, check out the new Kids in the City package at Four Seasons Hotel Vancouver (791 W. Georgia St.). On offer from June 21 through September 5, the promo pampers kids from the moment they arrive with a souvenir T-shirt, in-room treats and full access to an indoor/outdoor swimming pool and Playzone Game Room, staffed with their very own kids’ activity concierge. Plus, they’ll enjoy a complimentary breakfast at Yew Restaurant, complete with chocolate-chip pancakes, and a fun chef-led cooking session. Prices for this package start at $405, with an option of booking an additional room for the kids at 50% off the regular rate. To book, visit fourseasons.com/vancouver

See Star Wars in Concert – June 22-23
If the names Han Solo, Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia are as familiar to you as family members (it’s okay, we won’t tell), you’re the perfect candidate to catch Star Wars in Concert at GM Place (800 Griffiths Way, Vancouver). Taking place on June 22 and 23, it’s your chance to experience the classic film in a whole new way, complete with a full orchestra, choir and stunning visuals on high-definition movie screens. The show is reportedly so good, it even impressed George Lucas himself. And bonus: you can also check out an exclusive exhibit of Star Wars costumes, props and production artwork. For fans of this iconic film, the Stars have indeed aligned. Buy your tickets online at ticketmaster.ca or by phone at 604-280-4444. For more information, visit starwarsinconcert.com

Catch a Music on the Grill Concert in Coquitlam
 – June 24, July 8, July 24
Talk about a sizzling summer celebration! Evergreen Cultural Centre (1205 Pinetree Way, Coquitlam) is hosting Music on the Grill, a series of summer concerts that combine great beats with fabulous eats, starting at 7 p.m. On June 24, guests will enjoy a barbecue feast followed by a performance by the Marc Atkinson Trio, known for its “sensually charged” gypsy jazz. Can’t make it? You’ll have another chance on July 8, for a concert by Fera and the Matinee, or on July 24 for Tea and Tamara Rhodes. Tickets range from $38 (concert only) to $53 (single concert and BBQ) to $147 (all three concerts plus BBQ). For tickets and more information, call the box office at 604-927-6555 or visit evergreenculturalcentre.ca

Get Jazzed up
 at the Vancouver International Jazz Festival – June 25-July 4
In Vancouver, June means jazz festivals. That means you’ll have no shortage of performances to choose from during the TD Vancouver International Jazz Festival, taking place June 25 to July 4 at various locations throughout the city. On opening night, fans of fusion might want to check out Harry Manx (shown) at Capilano Performing Arts Theatre (2055 Purcell Way, North Van) at 8 p.m. Tickets are $35 per person, but if you’d prefer a freebie, you can always catch a free performance by the Dirk Powell Band at the West Vancouver Memorial Library (1950 Marine Drive), starting at 7:30 p.m. For a full schedule of performances, which also include free shows at Capilano Suspension Bridge, visit coastaljazz.ca.

Tour Langley’s Farms – now

If you’re tired of limp lettuce and crunch-less carrots, then the Langley Circle Farm Tour just might be for you. As a way to promote agri-tourism, 15 local businesses — all known for promoting homegrown goods — are opening their doors to give curious customers a peek at their products. On this self-guided tour, you’ll travel at your own pace to any (or all) of the participating establishments — the choice is yours. Possible stops include Krause Berry Farms, For Wine Company, Aldor Acres Dairy Centre, Tuscan Farm Gardens and the Langley Community Farmers Market. The tour is available year round, though some venues operate only on a seasonal basis. For further details, visit circlefarmtour.com or call Tourism Langley at 604-888-1477.

Experience the Wild West in Barkerville – this summer
Back in the day, Barkerville was booming. But when the gold rush ran dry, it turned into a ghost town. Nowadays, it’s considered the largest heritage site in western North America, having been faithfully restored to its 19th-century glory days. No wonder adventure seekers and history buffs from around the world come here to experience an authentic taste of the Wild West, Canadian style, courtesy of 140-plus historic buildings and displays. What’s more, you can also pan for gold, explore an old-style school, wander through exotic Chinatown, visit an authentic Gold Rush theatre, and meet some of Barkerville’s most colourful historic characters, including Judge Begbie, a wig-wearing Victorian with no kindness for criminals. For more details, go to barkerville.ca.

Spend a Dog Day at the Dog and Hydrant – Saturdays
According to the calendar, we haven’t officially arrived yet at the dog days of summer. But you’d never guess it if you swing by The Dog & Hydrant (1146 Pacific Blvd., Vancouver) on Saturdays. From 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., the Yaletown animal emporium invites prospective pet parents to come and enjoy complimentary coffee and cookies while meeting, greeting and, if you’re so inclined, adopting orphaned puppies from the Vancouver Animal Shelter. Already got a pooch? You’ll still enjoy taking a swing by the store, stocked with everything from grooming supplies to accessories to a pet portrait studio where Jessica Alba had her dog’s pic snapped. For further details, or to view adoptable dogs online, visit thedogandhydrant.com or call 604-633-3845.

Get Romantic at the Shangri-La Vancouver – until Dec 31
Shangri-la means “paradise.” And the definition is dead-on when it comes to describing Shangri-La Vancouver (1128 W. Georgia St.), overlooking the waters of Coal Harbour. The high-end hotel makes a perfect backdrop for deep-pocketed Don (or Donna) Juans to do their thing, especially with its special Romance Package starting from $485 per night. But don’t let the price put you off; the deets are worth it, including a valet-parked car, bottle of bubbly, chocolate-dipped strawberries, in-room new-release movie then a five-course dinner à deux in Market by Jean-Georges. This upscale overnighter, available through December 31, also comes with a complimentary one-category upgrade, subject to availability. Book by calling 604-689-1120 or visiting shangri-la.com.

Originally published in TV Week. For daily updates, subscribe to the free TV Week e-newsletter, or purchase a subscription to the weekly magazine.